Clay Shirky has written a great post about newspapers and the future of journalism.
The other thing that struck me about this post was the number of worthless trackbacks. I’ve started to look at blogs along a spectrum where the degree of interactivity is inversely related to the popularity of the author/blog owner (which, for the larger ones may be corporations or the former dead tree vendors Mr. Shirky is talking about).
The blog starts with everything open, although by default now you have to have some spam protection on. If you reach critical mass you start to have comments that deride you personally, are generally crude, or caricatures of humanity, usually submitted anonymously, and so the comments get shut off in favor of trackbacks.
The acceleration continues and then the trackbacks get too spammy so they have to go too.
The underlying issue is that it doesn’t scale as well when you hit explosive growth. Something I need to think about some more…